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The Perfect Family Book List

For the holidays, critic Alan Cheuse is making up a list of books to give to each of his family members. Only the best of 2014 for them. Here's his picks.

Bianculli's Top 10: 2014 Was A 'Good Year For Programming'

TV critic David Bianculli says that he's encouraged by how far TV has come. He picks The Good Wife as the best show of 2014, having "the deepest roster of really strong regulars and guest stars."

In A 'Depressing' Year For Films, Edelstein Finds Some Greats

Film critic David Edelstein says in 2014 none of the great material came from Hollywood studios. But, he says, it was a "wonderful year" for indie films. He names Boyhood as the best of the year.
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Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Dec. 24

Get in the Christmas spirit with a choral concert or attend a late-night party benefitting local community programs.


Guyanese Christmas Gives A Whole New Meaning To Slow Food

Two classic Christmas dishes beloved by the people of Guyana are pepperpot and garlic pork. To get the flavors just right, you have to cook them and let them sit out for weeks.

Mother, Empress, Virgin, Faith: 'Picturing Mary' And Her Many Meanings

This Christmas, images of Mary created over five centuries glow on the walls of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Curator Kathryn Wat says that, to her, Mary represents bravery and strength.

In Seattle, Maurice Sendak's 'Wild' 'Nutcracker' Reaches Its Final Act

For more than 30 years, the Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker has used sets and costumes designed by the author of Where the Wild Things Are. This year, the ballet is retiring the production.
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Q&A: Rep. Sherman On His Offer To Show 'The Interview' At U.S. Capitol

The congressman from California extended an offer to show the film at the U.S. Capitol, following reports that North Korea allegedly coordinated a hack of Sony Pictures to prevent the movie's release.

How To Compose Music For A Movie About Music

NPR's Robert Siegel talks to film composer Justin Hurwitz, 29, about his first major movie score, for the movie Whiplash. Hurwitz talks about using music to heighten tension.
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In Annapolis, An Arts Scene Grows

The Maryland capital — best known for its politics and maritime history — has drawn together a collection of diverse visual artists and musicians who are quite literally making a scene.